HMRC targets better IT collaboration with new ‘innovation team’

HMRC is committing more resources to developing new technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), as it aims to improve efficiency and increase tax yields.

To this end, it has created its first ‘innovation team’, tasked with collaborating with external IT specialists to develop innovative software to improve tax collection and close the tax gap.

The new team is headed up by Antony Collard, HMRC’s director of architecture & innovation, who has been part of part of HMRC’s digital leadership team for some time in his role as deputy director of HMRC digital delivery centres. He leads a network of seven state-of-the-art facilities around the UK.

Writing on HMRC’s Digital blog, Collard said: “Our new innovation team will improve HMRC’s digital capabilities even further. We are building our in-house capacity to drive and support innovation across all our activity.

“We also want to engage with, and ultimately test, technology at all levels of maturity. That could be putting existing technology to new use or assessing the potential of emerging technology for our future work.”

He added: “HMRC already has an exciting collaboration programme with a number of supplier partners working with us to share our thinking on innovation. Now we’re keen to hear from more organisations and companies who have new ideas that resonate with our work.”

HMRC is planning to organise a number of events in the next few months to kick off digital innovation discussions. This includes setting up showcases for smaller organisations and other activities, such as HMRC’s ‘hackathons’, where interested parties get together to discuss new ideas and initiatives.

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